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On April 1, I combed The Japan Times hoping to find an April Fools’ Day story to match the one two years ago about “Hachiko.” I think I found it in the April 2 article “Axed Brazilians, Peruvians to be paid to leave Japan.”

Please, say it ain’t so! These people helped the economy in boom times with the dirty, dangerous and difficult (and low-paying) jobs. Now in bad times, the Japanese government wants to shuffle them off and pay their way back to where they came from — and telling them “don’t come back.” I’m glad the U.S. government did not do the same to my family during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Instead, the government instituted the Works Progress Administration, and my father was able to get work. Hard work and low pay, but it allowed my parents to put food on the table.

denis mcgowan

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